tonight on "nightline," stranded at sea. imagine no e leklectricityelectricity, to no toilets, no lights as the guests are finally towed to land, we have the inside story on the ultimate cruise from hell. deal or no deal? they are everywhere you look. homes for sale at deep discounts, with prices now back to 2003 levels. we go in search of the deal of a lifetime. and, honor guard. it was a day to pay tribute to america's veterans from the national capitol to bases abroad. but how are these men and women
really faring in the land they kept free? >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city this is "nightline," november 11th, 2010. good evening, i'm bill weir. there are a gazillion super fun things to do on a carnival cruise. lobster and steak served every meal. but for the 3300 passengers aboard carnival mren door this week it was spam cold showers and frustration as they had a vacation gone horribly wrong. david wright was there to welcome the vessel on its from mature return to harbor. >> reporter: as dawn broke over san diego bay, six tiny tug boats nudged the giant ocean liner slowly through the channel. the passengers manned the rails. it looked like a picture perfect
homecoming. at least it looked that way from a distance. >> fun. lots of fun. >> reporter: on shore, hundreds of spectators ready to welcome the carnival splendor in includes lissa who came from kansas city to sell t-shirts. >> i'm a housewife out of kansas city, and saw it on the news and decided, well, they probably need a souvenir. >> reporter: these read, "i survived the 2010 carnival cruise spam-cation." how much? >> $20. >> reporter: profiting from tragedy. >> i know. i feel like an ambulance chaser. >> reporter: cases of spam were among the 70,000 pounds of emergency supplies the u.s. navy had to ferry out to the stricken cruise ship, after a fire knocked out the splendor's engines monday morning. also sent canned crab meat and pop tarts. >> look at these guys passing watermelons so they we can eat. >> reporter: not exactly the typical faerl on a love boat
cruise to the mexican river vary ya. especially not on one of carnival's new egs and biggest ships. compare those images to these ones, and you can see the sort of accommodations these folks were expecting. gordon and chris say the trouble all started early monday morning. >> all of a sudden there was kind of a, like a shudered and then the ship started to kind of vibrate. >> somebody came over the loud speaker says alpha team alpha team, you nope, report for duty or something. >> reporter: it sounds like something from a movie. >> very much. >> reporter: and then say say everything went dark. the fire knocked out the engines and the lights. and for a day and a half the toy lets. >> i think that and the rotting food smell because after you get the mayo sandwiches for the tenth time and you smell the rotting milk, you can't eat. and they only fed us sal lalds and fruits for awhile. >> reporter: without power, there were no fridges to keep
the food fresh. no way to cook hot food either. and, no place to dispose of the food rotting in the kitchen. >> it was solid sandwiches they would put anything they could possibly have inside two pieces of bread. and, so, i don't think i want to have anymore sandwiches or salad for awhile. >> reporter: as soon as the toilets started working again, the mood lifted. >> one family big family got all in their formal outfits clothes and everything and put on life jackets on top of their gowns and once they opened up the bars and so that kind of lightened the mood. >> reporter: that was my next question. >> they kept music plays. >> only for beer and wine for free. >> all you could drink. >> reporter: joey and stacie headed straight to the airport today, where stacie's dad met them with a basket of treats. >> way to go. >> reporter: the couple were married last saturday. the carnival splendor was supposed to be their honeymoon. today, they couldn't wait to get
home. people tend to think that an endless buffet an open bar make these vessels hotels on the high seas. but there be dragons in the high seas. crew ship disasters have become a youtube staple. like what happened to this ship off the coast of australia. or here, as passengers are given a rough reminder they're not on terra firma anymore. former senior carnival cruise liner officer jay herring shot this video as he suffered through a 24-hour hurricane. >> here's some big spray oh, goes over our heads. so, we're in the crew bar right now. it is a river in here. >> reporter: and the carnival splendor has had its own issues in the past. like this swimming pool on another stormy night. >> we just banked hard right. >> reporter: this youtube video was taken on board the splendor last year after what was called
a near-collision with a fishing boat. >> all the dishes fell off the shelves. and the pool overflowed. now we know why there's drains before the elevators. >> reporter: even fires have happened before. this one, on the cruise ship deutsch land, five months ago. in fact, there have been at least ten fires on cruise ships in the past three years. including six deaths. and if it's not fire stormy weather, rogue waves or high seas, with so many people on board, a nasty stomach bug can sometimes ruin an otherwise dream vacation. for thousands of passengers on the carnival mren door they're lucky they don't have worse things to complain about. authorities will now conduct an investigation on what caused the engine fire. the lead agency will be the panamanian government because that's where the splendor is flagged. >> i'm sure the ship will make any adjustments that they need.
it's in their best interest and they're very focused on customer service. they're going to do a good job of making sure these things don't happen again. >> reporter: tonight, carnival was quick to correct the record on one major point. tersely tweeting "despite media reports to the contrary carnival splendor guests were not never served spam." apparently, carnival realized that might be a public relations disaster all itself own. today, the passengers seemed content to let by gones by ss be by gones. ♪ our food was vegetables and fruit ♪ ♪ on the two day return ♪ >> reporter: commemorating their vacation with new lyrics toal old tune. i'm david wright until san diego. >> maybe it could have been worse. the liner is offering free tickets for a future cruise of equal value. thanks to david wright nor that report.
coming up, it is a buyer's market with a glut of homes listed for sale across the country. we head out to see just how good the deals are getting. [ woman ] you know, as a mom i worry about my son playing football. which is why i'm really excited. because toyota developed this software that can simulate head injuries and helps make people safer. then they shared this technology with researchers at wake forest to help reduce head injuries on the football field. so, you know, i can feel a bit better about my son playing football. [ male announcer ] how would you use toyota technology to make a better world? learn how to share your ideas at toyota.com/ideasforgood. [ male announcer ] learn about a free trial offer from abilify. if you're taking an antidepressant and still feel depressed one option your doctor may consider is adding abilify. abilify treats depression in adults when added to an antidepressant. some people had symptom improvement in as early as one to two weeks after
adding abilify. now with the abilify (me+) program your first two weeks of abilify can be free. abilify is not for everyone. call your doctor if your depression worsens or you have unusual changes in behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens and young adults. elderly dementia patients taking abilify have an increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor if you have high fever, stiff muscles and confusion to address a possible life-threatening condition. or if you have uncontrollable muscle movements as these could become permanent. high blood sugar has been reported with abilify and medicines like it. in some cases extreme high blood sugar can lead to coma or death. other risks include decreases in white blood cells which can be serious dizziness upon standing, seizures, trouble swallowing and impaired judgment or motor skills. adding abilify has made a difference for me. [ male announcer ] visit abilifyoffer.com for your free trial offer. and ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of adding abilify. healthy smiles start at the gumline.
>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w>w the housing slump has knocked so many americans down for the count and scattered forsale signs across the country like a freak economic wind storm. 4 million of them at last count. but for those looking to buy, all that market chaos is yield yielding opportunity, even if they have been knocked down once already. vicki mabrey looks for the upside in a down market in tonight's "realty check." >> i love this house because it has some beautiful details for what we could call a starter house. >> reporter: five years ago, at the height of the boom super realtor roberta baldwin sold this three bedroom colonial for $470,000. >> beautiful hard wood floors.
very important. >> reporter: my, how times have changed. now, it's back on the market for a whopping $90,000 less. nearly a quarter of its value, wiped out. and even at that it's been sitting unsold for more than a year. what's wrong with it? why isn't it selling? >> the market has declined faster than the price that we have chosen. and we have had two offers earlier on when the owner thought, in fact, that he could do better. actually, they never came to fruition. >> reporter: in today's market price drops are the new normal. in fact, prices are back down to 2003 levels according to the latest price index. that's seven years of home value down the drain. with 4 million for sale lines across the country, the market is saturated, and sellers are hurting. >> now, seller is the dunce, seller is, you know the seller is the lowest form of life in the -- in real estate right now.
>> reporter: susan pinkwater is a would be seller. she bought this house three years ago. >> three bedrooms upstairs. one bedroom in the base m. >> reporter: over time, she made major renovations. >> i tore out the entire ceiling and i took all the beams down, put up the skylights and the window so it opened it up. i call it my swiss chalet now. >> reporter: after months on the market roberta convinced susan to lower her price substantially. >> by almost 80,000. which was my down payment. >> reporter: is this a good time to try to move? >> terrible time. it's a great time to buy, because -- i can buy a house i never could have owned. >> reporter: for susan, there's an upside to this down market. she'll lose money on her current home, but figures she'll get a great deal on the next one. >> hopefully i'm going to save 150 on the house that i'm buying. so, if it works that way, it's not a bargain but at least i feel better. >> reporter: it's been a tough year for most everyone in the
housing business, even seasoned agents like roberta. weekends that i used to have four, five clients every saturday, every sunday, every evening of the week at the top, which was 2005 that doesn't exist anymore. >> reporter: for sellers, roberta says they should number one, strooich for perfection. >> buyers want you to have done the work. they want everything perfect. if it's imperfect, you're not going to sell it. >> reporter: number two, price the house to sell. >> price it to sell not to sit. if you are pricing it to sit, it will sit. and you'll keep getting negative feedback and at the end of the day, you will be quite unhappy. >> reporter: number three, be realistic during negotiations. >> guess what? when a buyer makes an offer, it is often the price he wants to pay and not a penny more. >> reporter: earlier this year the $8,000 home buyer tax credit
buoyed sales. but since that program ended, sales have plummeted. in many markets, buyers have gone underground again. laura expected to spend the rest of her life in this house, but when she needed to sell she found a tough new world. after three, the first three weeks on the market, we had to drop it in price, and nothing, nothing, nothing. some people were looking but there was no offers. so, we dropped it again. about $110,000 below the original asking price several months before. >> reporter: with interest rates at record lows it seems buyers would be rushing to take advantage. they're not, roberta says because they're scared. >> the fear element is just overwhelming. they're afraid of making a mistake. they want a house that is relatively perfect in a wonderful neighborhood with the top school, not even number two, and they want to be able to walk to the train or drive within 15 or 20 minutes. the priority list for buyers today can go on.
25, 30 items, that all have to be satisfied. >> i want to show you three things that happened. >> reporter: after four months laura finally found a buyer. >> i kept saying that the family hasn't come yet, the family hasn't come yet. i'm glad, you know he's a good guy. >> reporter: the family came. >> and a family came. the right family came. >> reporter: that buyer says he knows he's getting a deal. >> i think three years ago, it would have been very difficult getting a house in a location that you really want. today, it's become a little easier. >> reporter: for buyers, roberta says, number one, streamline priorities. >> i always say to people, pick three to five things that you really want. but if you need 20 things you'll never find the house you may never buy and you will always feel like you are being gypped. >> reporter: number two, work with the pros.
>> you're going to get your education a lot faster if you work with a top agent and top mortgage representative. >> reporter: and number three, think of a house as a nest not a nest egg. >> house should be a place that gives you a special feeling. and if you're just thinking every minute, you're clocking how much it is worth day-to-day or how much it's not worth, you can't possibly enjoy the inherent value of a nest. >> reporter: with prices down and interest rates in the basement, it seems only fear is at an all-time high. this is vicki mabrey for "nightline" in mt. claire, new jersey. >> thanks to vicki mabrey for that report. when by come back he is a pop grand master who celebrated hot legs and hot tunes with a lion's mane and a roar to match. rod stewart talks with us about his all-time favorite songs.
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[ female announcer ] this is a strawberry pop tart. but this is warm, fresh-baked strawberry toaster strudel. [ music ] see the difference? pillsbury toaster strudel, the one kids want to eat. there's nothing we love more than listening to our favorite songs. there's nothing we love more than listening to our favorite songs. but our favorite thing is eating totino's pizza rolls. but our favorite thing is eating totino's pizza rolls. ♪ we're the kids in america ♪ ♪ oh,h,h ♪s home.
>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with bill weir. >> 198171. it had a mandolin a great gravel voice and a may-december love story the song was "maggie may" and turned rod stewart into a house hold name. followups like "some guys have all the luck" firmly se secured his solo star and 195 million album sales later, he's still making fans swoon. tonight, he tells us of his inspirations in the play list.
♪ oh maggie i couldn't have tried ♪ ♪ anymore ♪ >> "maggie may" is always going to be a favorite. it all depends -- if you are singing it live, what sort of reaction you get from the crowd. it was 1971 so how many years is that? 39 years. i like to think it's you know part of the tapestry of rock and roll. a wee thread in the tapestry of rock and roll music. ♪ let them all forsake me ♪ >> my family were big al johnson fans. and i was taken to see his movies when i was about 5 or 6 and one of the favorite tracks of mine would be -- ♪ climb upon my knee sonny boy ♪
and it's called "sonny boy." i can't say i loved his style as much as i love what the songs were about, you know i mean he was a jewish man dressed up as a black man. it was pretty phony. but my family loved him, so i had no option but to love him, as well. when i was a little kid, my brother bob, he's ten years older than me, he brought home a record called "the girl can't help it" but little richard. i never get tired of listening to that. maybe there's a lot of sentimental attachment to that. we used to have rocking parties when i was a kid, this high. christmas parties. any excuse for a party. and i was in bed. say, christmas eve, about 11:00 at night i would sneak downstairs and listen to them at the party. and that's when the seed was sown, i believe. ♪ hey baby come on ♪
>> the first song i learned on the guitar would have been "cocaine blues" by jack elliott. when i was about, i think 13 still at school i was very much into model railways and my dad bought me a station and a guitar. the only guy that could tune the guitar lived about a quarter of a mile away, and i used to walk to his house. by the time i got home it was out of tune again. yeah, my dad bought me a guitar just out of the blue. thanks, dad. ♪ it's been a long ♪ ♪ a long time coming ♪ ♪ but i know ♪ >> sam cooke, i could name lots probably "a change is going to come." it was so revolutionary, really. it was just about the time the civil rights movement and i was a mod, you know we used to have mods and rockers in the '60s, and the rockers liked rock and roll but the mods liked soul
music. when i used to listen to sam cooke and otis redding, i felt they were singing just for me. and also that was a hallmark i think, of a good singer. those guys were a big influence on me, all the great black singers of the '60s. ♪ these foolish things ♪ >> if i was to put a tape on -- a tape a cd on it would probably be billie holiday. she's the greatest. the greatest all-time jazz sing singer. "these foolish things." her phrasing she -- she cannot be copied i don't know where the phrasing comes from in her head. you listen to her, and you think, she should come in there, she waits and drops in well beyond where she's supposed to drop in to the vocal. genius. true genius. ♪ fly me to the moon ♪
♪ let me play on the stars ♪ ♪ let me see what's spring is like ♪ ♪ on jupiter and mars ♪ ♪ in other words ♪ >> and that is the title track off his latest album. and it is in stores now. our thanks to rod stewart. when we come back america's veterans is the subject of tonight's closing argument. but first, here's what's up next with jimmy kimmel. >> jimmy: tonight, harrison ford is here. gary dell'abate is with us. music from edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros, and "this